This case involves a defendant nutritional supplement manufacturer that produced a popular line of pre-workout products that was accused of intentionally packaging its products in large, opaque containers that contain approximately 30% empty space, otherwise known as “slack fill.” Plaintiffs purchased the products, expecting to receive a full container, however due to the food packaging practices employed by the manufacturer customers received substantially less product than expected. It was alleged that the defendant intentionally incorporated non-functional slack-fill in its packaging of the products in order to mislead consumers.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your familiarity with packaging and manufacturing, including measures taken to prevent slack fill.
- 2. Can you review the manufacturing and packaging processes used in this case and apply the slack fill exceptions to opine on which were met / not met?
Expert Witness Response E-078070
I have engineered the filling and container sizing several granular products. Also, considerations in powder and granular filling was a topic in a packaging machinery course I used to teach for a major packaging industry trade association. I have used the supplements in question here and am familiar with its characteristic regarding package filling.
Expert Witness Response E-078072
I have over 40 years experience in packaging, including 5 years at a major soup producer. This type of slack fill issue is not uncommon, I am very familiar with the concept and how companies use and don’t use slack fill. I am able to review the manufacturing and packaging processes used in this case and apply the slack fill exceptions to opine on which were met, or were not met. I have packaging and slack fill experience with similar type powdered products.